Accomodation during a month in Costa Rica 10 beds in 30 days. Most good but some exceptions.
25.12.2008 - 27.01.2009
I have stayed here on several occassions and apart from the increased humidity and heat at these lower elevations, I have found the downtown bustle, sense of community as well as a vibrant market a perfect fit for the Costa Rican "Urban experience".
Arriving late from an exhausting 2 day flying ordeal and unable to change and confirm previous bookings I took the advice of my cabbie to stay in an otherwise nondescript hotel in downtown. Not worth a description except for the $45 it cost to stay there. The prices range from $35 to $60 for more than adequate sleeping facilities and breakfast in a number of hotels nearby.
San Rafael de Alajuela - (Near Guacima)
Spanish Language School
This single bed may not have had the ambience of a hotel but it had all the warmth of a typical Tico family. My hosts Sandra and Juan were most welcoming and were a huge help in my quest to utter a full sentence in Spanish.
Email Iris at this language school, which caters primarilty to volunteers, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The cost for 9 days of language classes, accomodation ( including numerous daily meals with my Tico homestay), was less than $45 per day.
The Apart-Hotel Roma
Near the university offered spacious rooms with cooking facilities and excellent personal service for $58 per night for 2 people and a very reasonable $37 single. Be sure to check out the rooms before you commit as they vary considerably in accessiblity and atmosphere.
The Hotel Heredia, close to downtown, has a history and even a new paint job but also has difficulty hiding its' past. Little to offer other than a bed and very tiny televisions. $20 per night, $30 double.
La Quinta Hotel
A more upscale hotel with spacious individual cabins set in a grid of gardens. On site restaurant and bar with small pool and a number of walking trails. Home to 3 spectacled caimans, in an enclosed pond of course. The best birding for photographers is at the central fruit feeding station with numerous varieties in full show every morning.
San Ramon, Alajuela
The best deal so far. Huge, well appointed rooms with internet access in the lobby for $43 per night double and breakfast for $5 bucks more. The rooms all have satellite television, huge bathrooms and tile floors. A real gem. San Ramon is a prosperous town with a number of good restaurants, Banks and clothing stores.
Curú Hacienda and National Wildlife Refuge
Our only "all inclusive". Very rustic cabins with basic facilities, eating wonderful typical Tico fare for breakfast and dinner, was $65 a day for 2. Take a cab ($15) from the ferry to the main lodge facility if you have more luggage than you can carry for a couple of kilometers, otherwise the local bus (50 cents) will drop you at the gate.
Montezuma Gardens and Mariposium
Comfortable rooms in a relaxed atmosphere and close to the upper falls. Reasonable drinks available anytime, including a fresh fruit breakfast. Shuttle to and from downtown Montezuma for $5. $50 per night, double. More relaxing environment with a mariposium than the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Turrialba Bed & Breakfast
Very large spacious rooms and communal area with high speed internet laptop. Breakfast, hot tub and games room included. Downtown accessible and close to the Caribbean coast.
The town has an eclectic mix of restaurants and the CATIE tropical agricultural research station is a short bus ride away. The GUYABO monument is also worth a visit.
$60 per night, double.
Puerto Veijo Talamanca
Excellent in town value at $45 per night with comfortable tidy rooms and excellent ventillation, Mosquito netting (not that we used it) and jungle like courtyard. Tree house with a view of the ocean is way up there. There are lots of places to choose from both in town and nearby. Ocean side accomodation is available for a few more $, but town sure has some character.